Oregano is usually thought of as a culinary herb, but its medicinal properties have been understood and used for thousands of years. But beware: The related herbs thyme and marjoram sold in most North American supermarkets are often mislabeled as oregano and do not possess wild oregano's miraculous healing properties.
The name oregano derives from the Greek words oros, for "mountain," and ganos, for "joy" or "splendor." Not only is oregano a beautiful plant, but the mountainsides on which it grew were considered much more beautiful because of its presence. This aromatic herb is a perennial that grows wild in the mountains in areas free of pollution and flourishes in late summer in warm, sunny fields. Oregano is usually thought of as a culinary herb, but its medicinal properties have been understood and used for thousands of years. But beware: The related herbs thyme and marjoram sold in most North American supermarkets are often mislabeled as oregano and do not possess wild oregano's miraculous healing properties.
Oregano is one of the world's finest natural medicines, its power lying in the oil found in its leaves.
Try a tea made with oregano for loss of appetite, nervousness, indigestion, bloating, flatulence, coughs, urinary problems, bronchial problems, headaches, swollen glands, and to promote menstruation. It has also been used in the past to relieve fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, and jaundice. Unsweetened oregano tea can be used as a gargle or mouthwash. Alternatively, the leaves can be dried, pulverized, and made into capsule form when it's inconvenient to make a tea.
Oil of oregano helps in the reduction of tooth pain. In fact, when poured into the cavity of the tooth, it acts as an analgesic. Oil of oregano is also a powerful fungicide and can be used to treat fungus and yeast infections, especially systemic, chronic, or recurrent fungus infection and yeast infection caused by Candida albicans intestinal yeast overgrowth (Candidiasis). Oregano can also help alleviate intestinal disorders commonly associated with Candidiasis including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), leaky gut syndrome, and a number of intestinal parasite and bacterial infections.
Historically, oil of oregano superseded anti-inflammatory drugs in reversing pain and inflammation and is nearly as powerful as morphine as a painkiller. Externally, oregano leaves can be pounded into a paste. Add small amounts of hot water or tea to reach the desired consistency (oatmeal may also be added to thicken it if needed). This paste can then be used to relieve pain from rheumatism, swelling, itching, aching muscles, and sores. Oil of oregano can also provide immediate help for bee stings and venomous bites until medical attention can be reached. For tired joints and muscles, put a handful of oregano leaves in a coffee filter, mesh bag, or cheesecloth bag and run steaming bath water over it. Allow it to steep in the tub with you as you relax in the warm, fragrant water. Oil of oregano has even been suggested as a treatment for dandruff, diaper rash, and other skin disorders.
Oregano has been said to be helpful in cases of:
About the author:
Kelly Joyce Neff has an interdisciplinary degree in Celtic Studies which includes work in cultural antropology, history, linguistics, language, and literature. She is a traditional midwife and herbalist, a reiki master, and an active craftsperson. She lives in San Francisco.